We sat around the table sipping our root beers and coca-colas, and we laughed. We dipped square after square of the fluffiest focaccia bread ever made into little pools of olive oil with garlic clove rafts, and gorged ourselves on broccoli con pasta. Because in this particular italian restaurant, there are no such things as carbs. Nope. None at all. So we ate and we laughed and we just enjoyed being a family. It had been WAYY too long since we had been able to sit down like this. And tonight, it was all about the Marantzes.
After the whole THREE ziti shells that I hadn't yet devoured had been wrapped up to take home and my glass was filled to the brim with coke one last time, I sleepily announced that Justin & I had discovered our brand new all time favorite song while we were out in Vegas.
"Oh yea, what's that?" my lil' bro (in law) asked with an amused look on his face.
"Oh, it's by this new singer...uh y'know....M...I....B...or something like that?"
"Umm, do you mean MIA?" he asked biting his lip to keep from laughing. He's really good to me like that.
"Yea that's it! I just love her brand new song with the POW POW POW POW...CLICK...DING. Do you know what I'm talking about??? Is it out here yet? Have you heard it"
He hid a laugh behind his root beer and cleared his throat.
"Yeaaaaa.....that's been out for a while now actually. (Really??) Yea, at least six months." he said smiling.
Ohhhhhhhhh. Well can I tell you about this new dance called the Macarena then?? :)
Yea, I'll admit it. When it comes to music, I am ALWAYS the last to know. I feel like there must be some magic website that everyone else knows to go to find out all the latest songs (helloooo iTunes?!), while I just sit back and wait for the "flashback" compilation to come out. I mean c'mon, who knew Coolio wasn't cool any more?!
So in an effort to make myself ever so slightly more relevant, I thought I would share with you the NEWEST of my new all time favorite songs, which I just heard on the radio yesterday. And this time I swear, if someone tells me this song actually came out 17 years ago, I'm just going to chuck it all and go back to disco.
Meet Talia & Lindsay, the uber fierce duo that makes up Sixpence Events. These two first met when they were each planning their own weddings a couple years ago, and they now run one of the most successful event planning firms around. We got together with them this past weekend on a VERY blustery New England February day. Just to give you an idea, justin & I were in down coats and gloves....and these two were in cocktail dresses! I'd say they win the "troopers of the year" award!
Which will go really nicely next to their "helllooooo hottie" trophies!! :)
We sat on the couch eating brown rice and salsa. He prefers to smush the rice down in the middle and make a puddle a la mashed potatoes and gravy, whereas I prefer the mix & swirl method.
But either way you slice it, it's not your normal breakfast.
Pancakes would've been better. Warm fluffy pancakes with real Vermont maple syrup or some fresh bananas sliced over the top. And orange juice. Reeeeeal orange juice. And blueberries. Blueberries and raspberries and strawberries. Oh my. Yea that would've been better. But for now it didn't matter.
We sat on either end of the couch with our feet crossing in the middle, and we smiled. We were home. In dire need of going grocery shopping, perhaps. But we were home. And that was all the nourishment we needed at the moment.
As we scraped the last of the brown rice kernels off our plates, we talked about the past five days and what a whirlwind they had been. And we talked about what was on our hearts.
You guys are on our hearts. All of you. We met so many awesome photographers this past week who were there at WPPI for their very first time, who are just about to make their very own leap of faith for the very first time. And boy oh boy, did you guys have some questions!
And we get that.
We totally remember what it was like when we were first getting started to have so many questions and no one to ask. And being that we KNOW what that's like, you would think that we would've been better about making sure that didn't happen to other people. But that's all going to change right now!
Introducing: Pancake Sessions with J&M!!
Why pancakes, you ask. WHY NOT!? I say. :) Maybe it was because all we had in the house was brown rice and salsa when what we REALLY wanted was pancakes. Maybe we were just really hungry. But the name seemed to stick.
For you long time blog readers, though, I think the name will make a lot more sense. Remember this lil' ditty about the first time I ever tried to make pancakes for Justin? Just to refresh your memory:
The first set I burned.
And not just that "oh look it's a little black on the outside but you can scrape it off with a butter knife kind of burnt." No...it was more like the sound stage of Backdraft where I alone am the heroic firefighter and Kurt Russell is nowhere to be found kind of burnt.
The second set... I burned.
Yea, we'll just call this one Backdraft the sequel. Y'know but this time with the not so cute Baldwin brother.
The third set actually fell on the floor while I was trying ever so diligently to flip them. Where, they were promptly swallowed up by a hungry golden retriever who apparently did not mind that he had to scrape one side with a butter knife before eating it.
But the fourth set. Oh yes, the fourth set.
They... were... perfection.
Golden brown and light as air. I proudly carried them to the table, and with a flourish of real Vermont maple syrup we were ready to dig in. Yes, practice really does make perfect. There really is joy to be found in the journey.
Yea...UNTIL... we cut into them with said butter knife and soon began to see pancake batter start bubblin' from the center like Jed Clampett a shootin' at some food. Oil that is. Black gold. Texas tea.
Now maybe it was the three failed batches of pancakes that came before them, or MAYBE it was the look on Justin's face as he tried with everything he had to keep from laughing, or maybe, just maybe, it was a lifetime of "I want it all and I want it now" all coming to a boiling point.
But whatever it was...before I knew what I was doing I had grabbed that soggy pancake up by the bootstraps and chucked it, grenade style, out of my left hand, over my head, and onto a nearby wall waiting across the room. Where, as most soggy pancakes tend to do, it landed with a splat and began the long and painful descent to the floor below. Where a hungry golden retriever sat waiting patiently.
Butter knife in paw.
So yea. We know what it's like to want to do something that seems so simple and so obvious, only to be met with setback after setback. Frustration after frustration. Splat after splat.
Now, I could've called up somebody and ASKED them how to make pancakes. But I felt stupid. I felt like I may as well be asking how to boil water. It was simple. It was obvious. It was batter in a frying pan for crying out loud. And who was I NOT to get it? Not to be born with an inherent pancake making knowledge naturally built into my brain. Not to be perfect the very first time I tried.
And I felt so small.
And I think that pretty much sums up how we felt our first year in business. Small. Stupid. Unable to do the Simple. Unaware of the Obvious. But as it turns out, simple and obvious only come with time. With practice. And with having someone tell you "oh you just have to wait until the air bubbles come through before you flip it."
So there you go. Let the Pancake Sessions be born!!! This is the place where no question is too stupid, no answer too simple or obvious, for the question to be asked in the first place. Because chances are there are a LOT of people out there struggling with the exact same things you are. So we'll try to do one or two of these a month and post them up here for everyone to see and learn from. Because we're in this together. We're stronger together. And we all LOVE pancakes together.
So shoot us an email (we've already been getting a ton of these for a while now, so we'll try to go back and grab some of those as well), leave us a comment, or send us a video with your questions, and we'll try our best to answer them. They may not always be THE best answer or the answer that is going to work best for you, but one thing I will promise you is that it will always be an honest answer. Because I think you deserve that.
** We think it would be a lot of fun to have some of these be a video Q. SOOO fun in fact, that we are offering a free seat to Spread the Love to the first FIVE people to send us their question in the form of a video! Helloooooo iSight!!
We are about to head down for breakfast and then get packed up to head home. And oh how I can't wait to see my puppy!! We've literally been showing his pictures on the iPhone to every one we meet like he's our first born or something! All we need is one of those wallets with the fold out plastic picture thingy and we are ALL set!! :)
So here's a quick lil' wrap up of the past few days for ya! After the Thirst Relief and Pictage booths on Monday, we got together with the PHAT members (Portrait House Advisory Team...who are ALSO Pretty Hot And Tempting!!) to plan out the final details on the PH video. Then we all grabbed dinner and met up with Scarlett Lillian for her after party at Rouge before ending the night at the B party.
All of Tuesday morning was spent setting up for the video, which we spent about 3 1/2 hours filming! (Much more on that to come...it definitely deserves its own post!) After we wrapped filming, we headed down and grabbed coffee with Kelly & Ryan Portnoy, a husband and wife team based out of Lynchburg, Virginia who are building an awesome business together! They are such a fun couple and we had a blast hanging out with them! And then after THAT we hit up Tao for sushi with a close group of friends and then came back to get ready for the Pictage Party at Studio 54. Whew! Here are a couple shots from that shenanigans:
Us with Chelsea Nicole & Jayse - the Las Vegas PUG leaders and two of our newest most favorite people on the PLANET!
On Wednesday we finally got enough of a breather to be able to actually walk the trade show, where Justin drooled over new lighting kits as I attempted to shove a Queensberry sample album into my Kate Spade clutch. It did not go over well. :) After that, we hit up some platform sessions. Here are some shots that Justin got of our amazing friend, Gene Higa, making his entrance.....ummm with Elvis!!! Only in Vegas, baby, only in Vegas!!
After the sessions, we met up with Carla for some coffee and then a late dinner and then we CRASHED!! Let me tell you, a bed has never felt so good! So now we're just attempting to get everything back into our suitcases which have exploded all over our room the past few days. And *I* have a VERY nice addition to add to the mix. For my Valentine's present Justin had this divine Mac makeup case shipped out here to our hotel so I wouldn't see it when we were packing. And then he snuck and took all of my makeup out of my old bag, cleaned it all up (because it was COVERED in eyeshadow dust), and gave the whole thing to me all set up and ready to go so I could get ready for dinner. Yea, he's a keeper! :) Only problem is, the weight limit for bags on our flight is 50lbs.....and my bags were 49.5 and 50 pounds respectively!! So....ummm...this should be interesting!